Much like Emily, I desperately wanted to complete our family. Due to some previous health issues, we were unsure if I could get pregnant again. After trying in early 2015, I got pregnant but lost the pregnancy very early. 4 short weeks later, I got pregnant again. This time around I was extremely worried that I wouldn’t carry the pregnancy full term, or that I would have complications. The latter proved to be true–the pregnancy was difficult and risky. Despite the worry and concern, and with many prayers and an amazing midwife, we were able to have a healthy baby boy. Our little family was complete now that baby number 3 was finally with us.
Within a few short weeks of welcoming our new baby into our family, I could tell something was wrong. I couldn’t get control of my emotions. I was scared. I didn’t recognize the person I was. In tears, I finally reached out to my husband and my mom and told them how I was feeling. Although ashamed, I asked them what I should do. Additionally, I shared a video on Facebook, which was authentic and raw. This video was a way for me to just talk without anyone asking questions. The amount of feedback I received was incredible, and I felt so comforted by the empathy and support of others who had struggled.
Right around this time, I heard about Emily. Many people from my hometown had posted Emily’s story, shared their condolences, and reached out to her family. I had a strong yearning to learn more about Emily’s situation and what she struggled with. My heart broke as I read more about Emily, her family, her struggles, and the outcome. I cried every time I read anything about Emily and her sweet family.
For weeks I had been struggling to understand what I was dealing with and explain how I was feeling. I needed to have comfort that I wasn’t the only one struggling and that it could get better. I had never struggled with depression, so how could this be happening to me? I am typically a very fun, outgoing girl, so was I going to get better?
After talking with my midwife, it was determined that I was suffering from severe anxiety and depression. On top of this, I was experiencing D-MER, which is a challenge some mothers face when nursing. This condition affects lactating women and is characterized by negative emotions due to a decrease in dopamine that occurs just before milk release. I had not dealt with this before, and it was very scary. I so desperately wanted to nurse my baby, but the negative rush of feelings I experienced was extremely challenging. I asked my midwife to help guide me towards help because I wanted to feel better–to feel like myself and the mom and wife I wanted to be.
In following Emily’s story, I found comfort, familiarity, and hope. Additionally, her husband’s words gave me some peace that I wasn’t the only one feeling this way and people wanted to help. Although Emily will never know it, she came at a time in my life when I needed her. I follow her blog and Facebook page, and have since reached out to other women that are struggling. I hope Emily’s story and what the Emily Effect stands for reaches many more women.